48 hours in Cheshire - what to do on a weekend in Cheshire
The semi-rural country of Cheshire is characterised by its rolling landscape dotted with small market towns and idyllic chocolate-box villages. Historically famous for its silk, salt and of course cheese it may now be better known for its ‘Golden-Triangle’ towns and their connection to famous footballers (and their wives!).
At the heart of Cheshire sits the Roman Walled City of Chester, famous for its black and white timbered buildings and historic ‘Rows’. With the River Dee flowing through the centre, a high concentration of independent shops and eateries as well as unique architecture; Chester offers the perfect base to enjoy a weekend exploring all that this region has to offer.
Chester is easily accessible by train and has great motorway links from the North West and further afield.
My recommendation would be to arrive at your hotel, Oddfellows, late morning; drop your bags and head out to explore the city. Oddfellows is a boutique Georgian house hotel in the centre of Chester, situated on Lower Bridge Street. It offers one of a kind interiors, an in-house florist and a fantastic position in which to explore. The original Roman walls that surround the city are within easy walking distance and will allow you to get your bearings quickly whilst spotting plenty of interesting historical sites along the way.
Follow the walls as they run parallel to the River Dee, back towards the centre and over the stunning Eastgate Clock Bridge (made famous in the opening titles of Hollyoaks!) before dropping down onto the main high street. From here you can enjoy a wander through the Grosvenor precinct before exiting onto the famous Chester Rows of Bridge Street.
After all that walking (and shopping!) make a stop for coffee at the Jaunty Goat before strolling back to check into your hotel.
Once you are settled in, and after you’ve enjoyed a refreshing drink in the hotel’s ‘Secret Garden’ make your way back up to Bridge Street, where at the crossroads, turn left along Watergate Street towards Palm. Settle yourself into the pretty pink Palm Cocktail and Eatery and enjoy a highly creative afternoon tea, complete with edible lipstick, as well as bottomless brunches in the most instagrammable of settings.
To help counter-act any cake you may have enjoyed, take a leisurely stroll back past your hotel towards the River Dee. You can either cross over the Old Dee Bridge to Handbridge, walk up towards the Racecourse or take a boat trip along the river operated by Chester Boat. These cruises depart every 30 minutes and take you upriver, under the Queens Park pedestrian suspension bridge and past the Chester Meadows. After disembarking your cruise walk through the Roman Gardens taking in the impressive ruins of the Roman Amphitheatre before looping back to Oddfellows.
After a long day exploring the city, I am sure you are ready for a few drinks and a tasty meal! On leaving your hotel for the evening, stop at the Liquor & Co on Watergate Street for a well-deserved aperitif before your dinner reservation at the extremely popular 1539 Restaurant at Chester Racecourse (booking essential).
This AA Rosette establishment has a stunning position overlooking Chester Racecourse and is named after the year horse racing began in the city, ensure you book a table on the terrace if it’s warm to enjoy the views.
After hopefully a restful night’s sleep you will have woken up ready to explore further into the Cheshire countryside.
Following a hearty breakfast at Hanky Panky Pancakes, just off Bridge Street, drive out of Chester towards the ancient woodland of Delamere Forest. If you are the adventurous type then you will be spoilt for choice; there are miles of walking and cycling trails, Segway tours available and a Go Ape! high ropes course.
After all that activity make sure to stop at the Delamare Station Cafe for a quick coffee before driving on towards The Fishpool Inn for lunch.
You cannot go wrong with the family owned Fishpool Inn located just south of Delamere Forest near Tarporley.
This 18th Century coaching inn is now a multi award-winning gastro pub and is one of my favourites in Cheshire. It seems to also be everyone else’s favourite too so make sure you book ahead to avoid disappointment!
On a sunny day take a seat outside in the manicured gardens and enjoy views over the fields beyond.
After your hearty lunch start making your way back towards Chester, via the Medieval Beeston Castle, sitting proudly on the Mid Cheshire Ridge.
Follow the signs towards the village of Tattenhall and you will arrive at the incredibly impressive Ice Cream Farm. Considered to be the World’s largest ice cream parlour with over 50 flavours of ice cream, there is plenty of choice on offer as well as a variety of activities including ‘Strawberry Falls’ Adventure Golf for those with a competitive streak!
On returning to your hotel enjoy a couple of hours relaxing before leaving for dinner in the nearby village of Hoole.
You can easily walk if the weather is nice, it will take approximately 20 minutes, or jump in a taxi (there is a rank on Bridge Street).
This beautiful village won the 2016 Great British High Street Award and it is easy to see why with its high concentration of independent retailers and eateries. Enjoy dinner at Sticky Walnut Bistro (booking essential) and do not miss the opportunity to sample a drink at The Suburbs bar just over the road.
Following a well-deserved lie in. Check out of your hotel and visit The Flower Cup cafe on Watergate Street for a unique botanical brunch before leaving the city. If you have the afternoon free why not consider visiting one of the magnificent day spas within easy reach of Chester.
The newly refurbished and super sleek Carden Park Hotel or the uber stylish Grosvenor Pulford Hotel are great options for a relaxing afternoon.
If a spa is not your thing and for those animal lovers out there, the famous Chester Zoo is only 10 minutes away and can easily be incorporated into your weekend itinerary.